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Savage Collapsable Backdrops Demo

Lesson 10 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

Savage Collapsable Backdrops Demo

Lesson 10 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

10. Savage Collapsable Backdrops Demo


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Savage Collapsable Backdrops Demo

So, I didn't realize for the longest time, I've been using these backdrops for probably going on, like, four years. And, John, if you could bring me that first backdrop that's right behind you? I had been using these for a very, very long time, and I didn't realize that other people weren't using these. Thank you very much. And so, these are collapsible backdrops that are made by Savage. So, Savage is basically, like, the company that makes all of the seamless paper. So, all the rolls of paper that people use for studio photography, it's the same company that makes those. I love using seamless paper in my studio, but these are actually really fantastic for a bunch of different reasons. The first thing is, if I'm photographing an individual for a portrait, this thing is plenty big enough for me to photograph somebody, to shoot their portrait. If I want to go wide on a shot, I can just hang this up like what you see back here, and I could shoot wide portrait. I've done portraits in front...

of this of multiple people as well, so if you have a group of like, you know, three, four, five people, you can kind of stack them up very carefully, and use the right focal length, that you can actually shoot multiple people using this backdrop horizontally. Or, if you're photographing a single person and you want to do something a little, not full body, but kind of maybe from the knees up, you can have the backdrop like this, and you can see I'm six-foot tall, and if I had this thing up on a stand, you could pretty much get me from just above my ankles up to my head and have this as your background. Now, the really nice thing about this is, you buy one backdrop and you actually get two sides. Each of these backgrounds, they have another color, another pattern. I have a bunch of different backdrops that are all stacked up against the wall, just like I do in my studio, because when I'm shooting in my studio, and again, maybe you'll kind of understand where my pain is with this, because I'll say, "Okay, I'm photographing a model, and I want to do it on a red background just to try it out." I'll have to go up, roll out the paper and start taking the photos, and then I realize that, "Oh, I don't really like the way this red background looks. I really wanted blue", or white, or whatever. I would have to go, bring the paper back down, roll it back up, take it off of the backdrop holder, get the new paper, roll it back out, and it's just like a long, tedious process. Meanwhile, the model's kind of sitting there like, "When am I gonna get my photos? This is brutal." Meanwhile, if I'm shooting with these collapsible backdrops, I actually will open then up just like we have them here, and just stack them up against the wall. Again, each of these is two different backdrops, so very quickly, if I decided that, let's say I'm shooting on this one, and this one's a beautiful textured background from Savage, I absolutely love this color and this pattern, but if I'm shooting with this and I say, "Eh, you know what, I want to change this thing up." If it was seamless paper, it would take me a little bit. With this, I can actually... I'm gonna hide for a minute, and I'm gonna unclip this, and I'm gonna flip this around. There are kits you can get where it comes with the stand and the holder. Just like that, I don't know how long that took me, I wasn't really trying to be super fast, but just like that I have a brand-new background, brand-new looks, you know, I could quickly change my lighting, and all of a sudden I have look number two. I can run over there, grab another background, really quickly unclip this one, put the other one up: look number three. I'm actually gonna do this when we get to the little shooting part of our little workshop. I'm actually gonna do that, I'm gonna take multiple backgrounds, I'm gonna take some shots. Once I get super comfortable with that, I'm gonna go ahead, grab another background, put it up, change up the light, and within a short period of time, you can literally get a ton of different looks, a ton of different styles. People will look at it and say, "Dang, you did all of that in one day." If I did that with seamless paper, it would take me forever to have to keep unrolling the paper, putting up a new backdrop, but the fact that you could just quickly change them is kind of a benefit. The other thing is, if you are the mobile type, and let's say you go to... For example, when I shoot corporate head shots, I will go to the company that I'm photographing executives, or employees, or whatever, and they'll give me their conference room, and they're like, "Go ahead and set up your studio." So, these things actually fold up like reflectors. I could go ahead, fold this thing up, and this is the background, like, this is it. This goes in little bag, it comes with the bag, so I have my little roller with my lenses and cameras, and I just walk into their office with the tripod. I open up the tripod, I pop this thing open, I clip this thing up, and bring the people in, I'm ready to shoot my headshots. So, super powerful, super time saving, and again, all of the time I don't have to spend getting the studio set up and getting it ready, is time I get to spend with the client, it's time I get to warm up to them, figure out what makes them tick, and that helps me to be able to get much better images, because I'm not spending a bunch of time trying to get all this stuff set up. If I want to get different looks, I'm able to get them very, very rapidly using these collapsible backdrops. Alright, so, John, I want you to stand next to me for this one. Hold that right here, and I want you guys to see there's two sizes as well. Let's say you're an event, like a wedding photographer, and you want to set up a photo booth, this is one size, which is pretty big. If you bet the white and black, so on the opposite side of this background it's black. So if you get this white and black background, this one comes in a much bigger size. Don't ask me what the size is, you might have to check Savage's website to get the exact specs. I want to say it's 5x8, or 6x8. It's six. 6x8? Yah, it's pretty big. And again, this one folds up exactly the same way. For those people who are watching as well, apparently this is like difficult thing to do for a lot of people, and it comes with instructions, and I know the first time I looked at the instructions to fold this thing up, I wish I would have recorded it, because it was pure comedy. I want to show you guys how to fold these things up. This works for reflectors, it works especially for these collapsibles. The very first thing you want to do is reach your hands out, and you want to grab your backdrop, and you basically want to fold it in half, right? So you fold it in half, and then... Even if you have short arms, right? Like, you know, if you have T-rex arms, you could still grab it like this, put it up against your body, and then just fold it in from the center, and then bring it in. So once you have this, I'm making like a taco right now, bringing the long edges in to one another, once you have this, you reverse your grip. So I was here with my palms facing each other. I'm gonna reverse the grip, and what I'm doing is with my thumbs I'm actually pushing the back in, so I'm pushing the backside of this taco in, right? I'm doing it slow, so it's messing it up, but if I do it quick it's good. So If you do that, and curve this end in, it's gonna kind of already start to make that circle that we're trying to go for. Then here, you just grab that end, and you just fix it. (laughs) So, just like that, and then we have a bag, so the kit actually comes with a little travel bag, so you could see if I wasn't demoing this for you guys, if I was actually in an office and it's time to go, maybe they're like, "Alright, Miguel, you had the conference room for this photo shoot, but we have a conference going on, you guys need to like wrap it up." I could quickly go ahead, close this thing up, take my stand, push it down, grab it, walk out of the room, and I'm ready to go. If I did that with seamless paper, it would be not fun. (laughs) It would be a little bit on the difficult side. That is basically how the collapsible backdrops will work, and we're gonna demo those. It's actually the only thing I'm gonna use for my backgrounds, much like I do in my studio portrait work. Well, quick, I'm wondering if we can... Kaitlyn Chase had asked, "How do the backdrops mount onto the stand?" and somebody else had asked about how many clamps you should have if you're just starting, or if you just have one of those. Can you even show us how you did that? Yah, let me flip this thing around. The Savage kit actually comes... There's two ways that you can buy this. You can buy it where it's just the background by itself, or you can buy it where it's a kit, and the kit actually comes with a light stand, and it comes with this little grip. Actually I'm gonna take this thing down. The little grip that it comes with, it's kind of universal, so I'm not actually using this with the Savage stand, because I have these other stands that are a little bit taller. It comes with this little grippy piece, this is how they... Basically you just squeeze it, and it'll clamp onto the backdrop. So that's it, that's basically what holds that background. There's actually little Velcro straps, so there's other ways you can mount this. If you have a boom arm, you could actually hook it through the loops on the background, just kind of slide it onto the boom arm. Or, there's also Velcro on the bottom so you can clip it on one end, and use the Velcro to kind of affix it to the light stand. What I like to do is, I'll get an "A" clamp, you really just need one, take one "A" clamp, clamp it with this on the top, clamp it with this on the bottom, and your backdrop's not really gonna move. Even if you don't clamp it with this, because there's been times where I'm in a rush, and I'm like, "I gotta go," and I grab my stuff. I'm like, "Man, I forgot my "A" clamp." It's okay, this thing basically will just move like a fraction of an inch to this side or the other, but when you photograph on it, you can't see the perspective of the background, it doesn't look like it's not straight, even if it's curved like this, you could still photograph somebody and you can't really tell that the background's not 100% straight. So, bring an "A" clamp, if you get the kit... Usually what I'll do is I'll buy... When I started collecting all of these backdrops, because it's almost like collecting baseball cards, I will get the kit that comes with the light stand and comes with this, and all of the other backdrops that I buy I just buy the individual backdrops by themselves, because if not you're gonna have a whole bunch of light stands, and a whole bunch of little kits. You don't really need all that. So, pretty easy, pretty straightforward.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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